This week I’m attending Feeding America’s Agency Capacity, Programs and Nutrition Conference.
It is always reinvigorating to meet up with over 400 food bankers from across the nation and share notes in a face to face format. On Tuesday I got to sit in a panel for new food bankers and share our experiences on Childhood Hunger programs, Hi-Five, Summer Feeding, and Kids Café.
It feels rewarding to be able to share all of our best practices with people that were in the same position I was in a number of years ago.
On Wednesday, I had a presentation about the cutting edge practices we use in our Benefits Connection food stamp outreach program. This program has been an overwhelming success for us and after nonstop consultations with other food bankers; I’m down to my last business card.
Thursday Nitza Colon, our Benefits Connection Manager, had another presentation about our outreach program that instructed other food banks how to start their own food stamp programs. At the general session that afternoon the speaker from Feeding America said that “Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida has turned food stamp outreach into an art form.” I feel like Picasso now.
Our Childhood Hunger manager, Santos Maldonado, and I received a plaque thanking us for our work as mentors for the Hi-five Kids pack program.
Accolades like this and being asked to speak at events such as this remind me how great Second Harvest is and how many other hunger relief agencies nationwide look to us as leaders in our field.
There is a lot more to our work than a warehouse full of food. Each of our programs strategically tackles a specific facet of hunger that may otherwise not be addressed. Now that our batteries are recharged, we can’t wait to come back to Orlando and implement some of the new ideas we’re learning about.
Holiday season’s one of the busiest times at Second Harvest and we’re ready to hit the ground running. If you’re interested in learning about any of our programs please feel free to contact me or anyone on my team.
Director of Agency Relations & Programs